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View Chapter 4 - Outreach

Church Planting Resource Manual

Download MS Word Document (2009):
File:Chapter 4 - Outreach 5-09.doc

Download Longer PowerPoint (2008):
File:Chapter 4 - OUTREACH.ppt

Download Shorter PowerPoint (2011):
File:Keynote 4 Plow 3-10.ppt

Chapter 4: Outreach - The Plow and the Seed Drill

Incarnational Plowing thru CMJ (Compassion, Mercy & Justice) and Attractional Seeding thru Evangelism
This article contains text only. For the full version with graphics and charts, please download the MS Word version above.

Theme: Jesus calls us to impact our mission field with the Gospel – with both evangelism and compassion ministries.

Objective:To establish the priority of Evangelism for church planting.

Chapter Goals:
1.    You will understand both attractional and incarnational evangelism.
2.  You will begin to plan for at least one method of attractional and one method of incarnational evangelism for your plant.

Plow & Seed Drill

Attractional = Evangelism In recent years the evangelical church has primarily used “attractional” methods of outreach, inviting people to “come and see.” This was how Jesus called his first disciples (John 1:35–51).

Incarnational = Compasson Mercy and Justice In the world today, missional churches should also utilize “incarnational” outreach, demonstrating the gospel by serving people in their community – “go and serve.” This was demonstrated by Jesus’ own incarnation and by His call for His disciples to be salt and light for the world.  You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world… Let your light shine so that people can see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  (Matthew 5:13-16).

New Covenant churches Live out the Gospel by equal amounts of Attractional and Incarnational Ministries.

Incarnational means:


This links with the Fourth Message & Mission of the Church (see Chapter 1 - The Gospel)

Attractional means:

This links with the First Message & Mission of the Church (see Chapter 1 - The Gospel)

Do you think one is more Difficult?

Do you think one is more Important?

How can both work Together?

“If evangelism isn’t our first priority, it soon becomes no priority.” 
Milton Engebretson, President of the Covenant

I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks… I am eager to preach the Gospel.  Romans 1:14-15

“Compassion ministries are the apologetic for our generation.”
Steve Norman, church planter of Genesis, Royal Oak, MI
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you about the hope that you have.  I Peter 2:15


It’s NOT EITHER/OR: either Attractional or Incarnational; rather… 
Churches that are moving forward today as healthy, missional churches do

It’s not a matter of either pursuing Numerical Growth or pursuing Spiritual Growth…
It’s not a matter of either pursuing evangelism or pursuing compassion…
It’s not a matter of either ministering to the believers on the inside or ministering to the unbelievers on the outside
The reality on the inside: surveys show that many of those in attendance have not made a commitment to Christ.
And, outside the church, there are hard-core lost and others who are de-churched, some who made a commitment to Christ in the past…
So, it’s a matter of Both and More…

Our most healthy churches do both…  and more…
They do not react to the excesses of either/or…
They respond to opportunities that God gives for ministry & mission, evangelism & discipleship.
In reality, attractional and incarnational are synergistic and provide increased momementum:
- When you have more new believers, you have more opportunities to grow them deeper, and you have more Christ-followers to send into ministry and mission.
- When you have more mission and ministry into the community, you have more people beginning to seek Christ, which gives you the opportunity to present Christ as their forgiver and leader, which leads to more new believers…
- And this gives more momentum in a complementary, synergistic, life-giving cycle…

Our most healthy, missional churches live out both the Message & Mission of Jesus:

The Message of Jesus     The Mission of Jesus
      Seeding Witness in Two Life-giving Ways

1. Come and See         1. Go and Serve

2. Deeper in Christ         2. Further in Mission

3. God with Us         3. Relational Witness

4. Public and Private         4. House to House / Temple Courts


- Come up with (at least) One Attractional Strategy that fits your plant.


- Come up with (at least) One Incarnational Strategy that fits your plant.




We do this through Attractional and Incarnational means.
We do this individually and corporately.
We do this through:
Prayer: praying individually and corporately for individuals and for our community that God would impact them with the Gospel – knowing that God is working in them and wanting to discern in prayer how we can join Him in that work.  (see “Praying for People” at the end of this chapter)
o   The Kingdom of God is already present, (Matthew 12:28) but still coming in its fullness (I Corinthians 15:50)
o   This is the Gospel – the Evangel: the Good News that is Demonstrated and Proclaimed by God’s Ambassadors.
o   Therefore we pray and live in this world as Ambassadors of God and Witnesses to His love.  (II Corinthians 5:20)

Care: showing the love of God to individuals and communities in tangible ways – thus incarnating the Gospel.
o   Demonstration: We demonstrate His love (Matthew 5:14-16) and His power (Mark 6:19-20)
o   By building relationships:
•  “The Gospel is passed on most effectively through established relationships.”              Lon Allison
•  More than 80% of all Christians trace their conversion to a friend, relative, associate, or neighbor.
•  Strengthening and repairing relationships is a first order of business for every Christian.
•  Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you.                        Mark 5:19
Share: using words that clarify why we’re caring for them and helping them understand the “reason for the hope that is in you.”  (I Peter 3:15)
o   Proclamation: “He has committed to us the message of reconciliation… as though God were making His appeal through us… We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”  II Corinthians 6:19-20
Prayer, Care, Share form the basis for the ECC “One Step Closer” Workshop.

Some Post-Modern Approaches:
•  Evangelism in community
–  “Groups Investigating God” (GIG’s) – John Teter
–  people want to see “how we love one another” (John 13:35) and how that love actually can touch and transform others.
•  Evangelism in WORD & DEED
–  Justice, Compassion, Mercy all contribute to the CARE of Evangelism
–  These are corporate expressions of God’s love & care by the church.
•  GIVE a person a fish
•  Compassion, Mercy & Justice (see article end of chapter)
•  TEACH them how to fish
•  Education and Training
•  Fishing BUSINESS
•  Community Development
•  Get a PIECE of the LAKE
•  Advocacy and Justice

A more wholistic and comprehensive approach to evangelism
  - moving beyond simply the propositional, linear and individualistic

Paying attention to the pathways of people in addition to numbers.  Numbers count too, but the direction and connection are more important.
Encourage your people to Commit to building Spiritual Friendships.
Use “Bringing My World to Christ” and “Prayer, Care, Share”
Celebrate those who connect with Christ, Celebrate those who build friendships.

We must find ways to move from a Battle of Messages to Learning Conversations.

Battle of Messages           Learning Conversations
- I know all I need in order to know       - There are important things neither of us
to understand truth; therefore, I need       know, therefore, let’s listen to each other’s
to persuade them that I am right.      stories and learn together.
- Feelings are irrelevant and wouldn’t be   - Feelings are real, complex, and may be at
helpful to share therefore, avoid feelings.  the heart of the issue; therefore share them.
- I am bad/good, lovable/unlovable with   - There is a lot at stake for both of us and
no in-between;  therefore, I must protect   neither of us is perfect; therefore we will
my self-image             “seek to understand before seeking to be

4 Evangelism Myths and Facts

MYTH: Evangelism is only for those that have the spiritual gift of evangelism, or for those will good communication skills and good Biblical knowledge (like pastors).
FACT: All of us are witnesses of what God has done in our lives.  Some have the spiritual gift and see people come to Christ regularly; but Christ calls all of to “be my witnesses.”  (Acts 1:8)

Each of us has a different way that we can be witnesses (ECC workshop):

Style Definition   Biblical Example   Strength
1. Intentional
to present Christ in an assertive manner to strangers or circles of nearness   Philip

Acts 8:26 ff   Assertiveness

2. Proclamational
to present Christ through the avenue of public speaking or other performing art forms   Peter

Acts 2:14-20   Speaking or art skill

3. Testimonial
to experience the miraculous and be able to tell about it   Blind Man

John 9:17-27   Empirical validity
4. Relational
to share what the Lord has done for you in circles of nearness   Gerasene Demoniac

Mark 5:18-20   Personal contact

Personal validity
5. Invitational
to bring others to places where verbal evangelism is offered   Woman at the well
John 4:28-30
John 1:46   Personal
6. Incarnational
to love pre-Christians beyond the expected and thus bring glory to Christ in you   Dorcas

Acts 9:36-42   Impressive life-style
7. Intellectual
to persuade pre-Christians employing rational and empirically verifiable data   Paul

Acts 17:16 ff   Appeal to mind
8. Inspirational
to receive clear divine direction to present Christ to a person   Ananias (also Philip)

Acts 9:10ff   Sensitivity to Spirit

Good results

MYTH: Evangelism is an individual effort that requires an intellectual agreement with a set of truths.
FACT: Evangelism takes individuals and a community to live out and talk about the Gospel.

MYTH: People are not open to the Gospel
FACT: People are very open to the Gospel.

MYTH: “YOU (and you alone) are personally responsible for the salvation of souls.
FACT: God initiates, continues, and culminates the work of salvation.  It is first and foremost God’s Work.  It is the MISSEO DEO – the mission and work of God…  (see Mission of God by Chris Wright)

…And, we are given the privilege of cooperating with the Holy Spirit in bringing others to faith
Therefore, even before we show up, God is already at work in the person / culture…
…And, we are called to be faithful witnesses to God’s work.  How lovely are the feet of them that bring Good News…  Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15
…And, it’s not just you alone, it’s the whole body of Christ, being witnesses to what God does…

Additional Resources  
•  One Step Closer -Lisa Orris
•  GIG Series-The Seven Signs of Jesus
•  Jesus & the Hip Hop Prophets - Gee & Teter
•  Get the Word Out -John Teter


Process Conversion – the 4 Doors

I stand by the door.              and opens to the person’s own touch…
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out.        People die outside that door,
The door is the most important door in the world –        as starving beggars die on cold nights
It is the door through which people walk           in cruel cities in the dead of winter –
when they find God.          Die for want of what is within their grasp.
The most tremendous thing in the world         They live, on the other side of it –
is for people to find that door – the door to God.      live because they have not found it.
The most important thing any person can do         Nothing else matters compared to
is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands,        helping them find it,
and put it to the latch – the latch that only clicks     and open it, and walk in, and find Him…
…So, I stand by the door.

Sam Shoemaker

Prayer and Evangelism

Praying for People:
Since Evangelism is “Cooperating with the Holy Spirit…” this means
Prayer is a vital part of the process of evangelism.  Through prayer, we invite God to empower us for evangelism.

1.  Prayer provides courage. Ephesians 6:19
2.  Prayer provides words. Ephesians 6:19
3.  Prayer provides open doors. Colossians 4:3
4.  Prayer provides verbal and non-verbal clarity. Colossians 4:4
5.  Prayer provides love. Matthew 5:43f
6.  Prayer has impact   Mark 9:29

Intercessory Prayer
-  “I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone… This is good and pleases God our Savior who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”    I Timothy 2:1,3,4

-  “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for (them) is that they may be saved.”
                      Romans 10:1

Prayer Walk
-  Seeing your neighborhood and community through spiritual eyes
-  Praying in the spiritual realm as you move in the physical realm

What to Pray
1.  That God draws them to Christ.  John 6:44
2.  That they may seek to know God.  Acts 17:27
3.  That they be saved.  Romans 10:1
4.  That Satan will be bound from blinding them to the truth.  2 Corinthians 4:4
5.  That God may send Christians to bring them to Christ.  Matthew 9:37-38
6.  That they will repent of their sin and turn to God.  Acts 3:19
7.  That the Holy Spirit will convict them and guide them into all truth.  Jn 16:8, 13
8.  That they admit their need and humbly seek Christ. 

Example of LifeChurch, Canton, MI – planted in 2003

Every Church Can Be Effective at Evangelism   
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too,  that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. 
Colossians 4:2-6

Evangelism is God’s Work
No one can come to Me, unless the Father draws them.
John 6:44

Mission of LifeChurch: Real People, Real God, Real Life
“Helping Real people connect with the Real God to experience Real Life.”

Culture of Evangelism at Life-Church
Because this is our mission, we hold ourselves accountable to intentional evangelism.  This means, to the best of our ability, we put numbers to it – to hold ourselves accountable for our part.


1.  We begin Prayerfully
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And PRAY for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ.  Colossians 4:2-6

2.  We equip Individually
  a.  In our membership class.
Teaching like Jesus did in His ‘membership class’ for the disciples in Matthew 9:35 -10:8
The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the field… Go…, I send you to preach… heal… raise… cleanse…  Freely you have received, freely give. 
  b.  By teaching Friendship Evangelism to all
“Evangelism is ANYTHING that helps a person take ONE STEP closer to Christ.”
-  Prayer Evangelism – who is the 1 person God wants me to pray for?
-  Care Evangelism – who is the 1 person God wants me to show God’s love to?
-  Share Evangelism – who is the 1 person God wants me to share with?
Every member is not only a minister, every member is a MISSIONARY.
  c.  We teach our members that Evangelism is as easy as PIE
    i.  P – Pray You do not have, because you do not ask God… When a believing person prays, great things happen. James 4:2; 5:16
    ii.  I – Invite
    iii. E – Expect God to work and answer your prayers.

3.  We program Intentionally
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders, make the most of every opportunity.  Colossians 4:5
WE ARE Committed to building a bridge to those who don’t know Christ
one step at a time. We don’t believe that effective evangelism is something we should be lax about.  Rather, it’s a priority and it demands intentionality.

There are 4 Strategies that we use:

1)  We intentionally create EASY INVITE events, AND we then tie these to NEXT STEP follow-up opportunities.  Examples:
1.  Picnic in the park
2.  Table 4 Eight
3.  Narnia Movie
4.  Harvest Party
5.  Theatre/Dinner Plays, Concerts, Special Music
6.  Date Your Mate – Friday night free baby-sitting for young couples in the community
7.  Kids singing Sundays
8.  Mega Sports Camp
9.  SuperBowl Party
10.  Drop in Hockey
11.    Biking/Mountain Biking
12.    Men’s Retreat-Shooting
13.    Cleats-n-Eats – Football and Food!
14.    Paintball
15.    Dad Fest-Classic Cars
16.    Women’s Retreat
17.    Women’s Spa Day
18.    Easter Egg Hunt
19.    Seminars for Marriage or Finances
20.    Partys After Church
21.    Pancake Breakfast
22.    Teen Events
23.    Strawberry and Liberty Festivals – already existing community events that we come along-side and help at
24.    Helping at a local community outreach, homeless outreach, helping with Boxes of Love, and Covenant Clinic
We then design an appropriate follow-up events.  On the next page is an example of how it can work.

EVENT #1—Harvest PartyàTarget is young familiesà
Promote event with a video and a card—HIGH VALUE EVENT!
NEXT STEPàfamily pictures available Sundayà
NEXT STEP2àPrize winners—Narnia Tickets
SERVICE/SERIESàThat Sunday start a 4 week series   on “Harvesting a Great Family”
Next step EVENT—$5 tickets to “Narnia”

2)  We design Easy-Invite Worship Experiences.
We design weekend experiences that will not embarrass you if you take a risk and bring a friend.  We do this through…
1.  Friendly people
2.  Relaxed Environment—Hospitality
3.  Powerful Music—both worship and special performances
4.  Relevant Message—topics that scratch an itch
5.  Life Stories—real people
6.  Drama, Video, Props

3)  We create Easy-Invite Message Series
1.  Self-Contained—easy to try for 4 weeks
2.  1st week always a Super Sunday with multiple creative elements
3.    Always followed by a Connection event/assimilation— e.g. a PICNIC right after the service

4)  We create Easy-Invite Tools
1.  Invite Card/Postcard is our #1 Tool according to our people!
2.    E-card to forward + Email bursts
3.    lifechurch Website
4.  Bulk Mailings to 10,000 homes 3 or 4 times a year
5.  Our events are tools as well

We always give an opportunity for people to connect with Christ and become Christ-followers at our worship experiences.
Response Card — during Offering
Follow up — Phone call from Connection Team
Invite to visit a lifegroup Bible Study

We Evaluate every Sunday Experience, Series, Event, and Tool – so that we can discern how God worked and discipline ourselves to become better workers in His harvest field.  Evaluate with encouragement.

TEAM APPLICATION – Develop your Evangelistic Strategies

1.  What will be our Prayer, Care, Share Strategies
a.  For individuals

b.  And as a Church


2.  How will we encourage our people to continue to have spiritual conversations?


3.  We talked earlier about the balance between Attractional and Incarnational Evangelism.  Do you have any further thoughts now?


4.  Which Evangelism “Myths” do you most need to address?  How will you do it?


5.  How will you encourage prayer for evangelism in your church plant?



6.  Much of the above material was developed by the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism for the newly revised School of Evangelism called “One Step Closer” workshop.  We encourage church plants to schedule a School of Evangelism and a School of Prayer (Prayer School offered by Dept of Christian Formation) in the first 2 years.  Talk about when you’d like to schedule these.



Church Planting and the Mission of Compassion, Mercy And Justice
Why add one more dimension to the church planting task?

The task of planting a church is incredibly difficult.  At the outset of any discussion regarding beginning a church with a strong ministry plan for compassion and justice, the question of “why” is understandable.  Ministry to poor and at-risk people seems to be one of those “good” things that can come later on after the new church is over the delicate, tenuous first years of formation.  It would be an understandable position to put off compassion and justice ministries in favor of the immediate tasks of creating a fellowship of people who are finding their needs met.  Consider a few brief reasons that compassion and justice ministries are appropriate for earliest consideration in planning for a new church start.

•  How you start is how you’ll grow.  If it is not part of the original, owned vision of the core group, compassion and justice ministries are difficult to add later.  The foundation determines the dimensions of any building.  Experience has shown that the earliest vision casting is critical for the unfolding of future priorities for a church.

•  The Bible says we are to do it.  Reaching out in compassion and addressing injustice are actions which are commanded and expected of the people of God.  If we wish to glorify God in our work of evangelism, we must be faithfully holistic and balanced in evangelism and compassion from the beginning.

•  It will mobilize our base.  Sometimes we overlook the need in people, both Christians and non-Christians, to do something of significance for others.  Beginning with a bold vision to affect others who are marginalized and hurting in their communities will attract bold people willing to risk a little comfort for the possibility of pursing ministry.

•  It is a key evangelistic strategy. Compassion and justice as attributes of God’s new community will be an attraction to seekers who are looking for a credible witness of the supernatural in this world.  Many in our world are as yet untouched by the gospel because the scope of our witness is often too small.  By going beyond the comfort zone of serving our own fellowship, we provide credible witness to seekers who on some level, value compassion and justice and are waiting to see where they will be evidenced in our world.  As we pursue transcendent outreaches of compassion and justice, we fulfill our calling to be lighthouses and mission outposts of God’s kingdom.

Compassion is a natural act of care and is found universally.  People respond to compassion and to organized activities of compassion.  But Christian compassion goes beyond the easy compassion of caring for our own kind (every religion has charities for its own member groups).  Christian compassion and justice are distinguished by the action of God in Christ, who comes to seek and save that which is lost.  Our compassion and justice reaches out to those different from us, especially the poor.  It is less concerned with affinity (people like us) than diversity (bringing together what the world cannot unite).  It is a work of the Holy Spirit.

The biblical witness is that God has a special heart for the poor, the widow, the orphan, the sojourner, the leper, the prisoner, and the hungry.  We do well to seek God’s heart for these groups around us today.  We can also seek to be God’s hands of love for their modern day equivalents—to those who are physically handicapped, suffering from HIV/AIDS, the refugees, children and youth without adequate educational opportunities, the homeless, victims of domestic violence, and those unable to procure work.


DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan
For Our New Church

1. Theological Basis >>
  2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >>
      3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >>
        4. Evangelistic Strategies >>
          5. Our Specific Vision >>
              6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >>
                Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering
                Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview Services
                Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship
                Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch
                  7. Leadership >>
                      8. Covenant >>
                        9. Finances>>

4. Evangelistic Strategies:
Develop a wholistic, comprehensive evangelistic strategy for your new church. 

- What are Incarnational and Attractional Ideas for living and sharing the Gospel in your Area?


- How will you train evangelists?



Category:Seeding - Preparation for Church Planting
Category:Attractional and Incarnational Evangelism
Church Planting Resource Manual